I realize that a good number of my readers are either pastors, church leaders or active in their congregations. So, why use a church consultant?
First, it gives you a pair of fresh eyes. When you’ve been a part of an organization for any period of time, you get used to what you see. For example, most people consider their local congregations to be friendly. All their friends speak to them.
Let me use an example from my wife’s family. When we first got married, Lori’s family had an annual reunion that lasted for three days. They would rent a facility with rooms at a place where meals were provided. Nice, no one has to do any work. Lori’s mom came from a large family, and their meetings focused on happy memories from growing up. What mom did? What father did? Experiences of growing up in this Christian family.
Another big part of their gatherings, which lasted for several hours each day, was singing old hymns. They loved to sing. And they expected everyone to participate.
Well, I had three problems.
- I didn’t grow up in a committed Christian family, so I had nothing to share that fit with anything they shared.
- I can’t sing. And the last thing I want to do in my spare time is sing. The thought would be laughable to picture my family singing–none of us can sing.
- Their meetings were like work. As a pastor, part of what I’d do is listen intently to people share about their families and various issues. Good listening is work. I enjoyed the pastoral care aspect of my being a pastor, but when I’m on vacation I want to do something else.
The family reunion pasted to my generation, and I found that those who were blood related did have a mindset more like mine. For example, we went whitewater rafting. I started to have ball. I enjoy doing things in the great outdoors. In my raft they allowed me to be at the front and to direct which way to steer to avoid rocks and logs. That made me feel a part of things.
I did hear some of the older generation complain about my generation not wanting to sit around and share stories and sing. Now don’t get me wrong, I love to share stories and experiences. But I realize that after awhile I may bore people, and I enjoy listening to people share as we do things together. This may be a guy issue. (I hope I haven’t bored you with this!)
In time, the family reunions ceased. And it is the same kind of experience that can happen to a congregation. “We want new people,” but they have to be like us and do what we want to do. That doesn’t work.
A consultant’s eyes can catch this more easily than someone who is a part of the organization.
Second, a consultant doesn’t just tell you what may be wrong. A consultant can present a plan to correct the congregation so that it can reach, evangelize, disciple and grow the fellowship. (A consultant can also tell you what you’re doing right as well.)
For pastoral leadership, a consultant can also act as a mentor and assist in implementing a plan for a congregation to revitalize and grow.
Feel free to contact me if you’d like a free initial consultation.